• When possible, preserve fresh, locally-grown pears for the best quality and nutritional value. Determine when fresh pears are available where you live with this seasonal food guide.

1. Selection

  • Select fresh, tender pears that are at peak quality and free of blemishes.

Recipes

If this is your first time pickling, or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Boiling Water CannersGeneral Canning Information, and General Pickling Information before beginning.  

2. Ingredients  

(Makes about 7 or 8 pint jars)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) sugar
  • 1 quart (4 cups) white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1 pint (2 cups) water
  • 8 cinnamon sticks, 2-inch pieces 
  • 2 tablespoons cloves, whole 
  • 2 tablespoons, allspice, whole
  • 8 pounds (4-5 quarts) Seckel pears or other pickling pears

3. Equipment

  • Water bath canner: Large covered pot (with a tight-fitting cover and a rack) that is deep enough to cover the rack and canning jars by 1 to 2 inches of boiling water. (At least 10 inches deep for pint jars, and 12 inches deep for quart jars.)
  • Canning jars: use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands: bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Spice bag or cheesecloth
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large cooking pot
  • Medium pot for extra boiling water
  • Bowls
  • Colander
  • Jar lifter (for moving jars into/out of the canner)
  • Lid wand (magnetic tool used to transfer lids to jars)
  • Bubble freer, or a plastic or rubber knife-like utensil (for removing air from food)
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Canning Equipment

Water Bath Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Place rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner. Fill the canner approximately half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.
  • Center the canner over the burner and preheat the water to 180 degrees F for hot-packed foods.
  • In medium pot, boil some extra water to use later, as needed, to cover the jars.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

5. Prepare Ingredients

  • Combine sugar, vinegar, water, and cinnamon; add cloves and allspice tied in a clean spice bag or cheesecloth. 
  • Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, about 30 minutes. 
  • Wash pears, remove skins and blossom ends (stems may be left on if desired). 
  • If pears are large, half or quarter.
  • To prevent peeled pears from darkening, immediately put into cold water containing 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid per 2 quarts of water.
  • Drain just before using. 
  • Add pears to boiling syrup and continue simmering 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Pack Jars

  • Pack hot pears into hot pint jars; add one 2-inch piece cinnamon per jar and cover and cover with boiling syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. 
  • Remove air bubbles. 
  • Wipe jar rims with a clean, wet paper towel.
  • Place lid on jar and add screw band. Screw the band down fingertip tight- not too loose nor too tight. Follow lid manufacturer's directions for tightening the jar lids properly.

7. Process Jars

Water Bath Canner-

  • With jar lifter, place jars on canning rack in large pot, which is filled with hot water. Jars should not touch each other.
  • Add or remove boiling water as needed until jars are covered by 1" - 2".
  • Turn heat to high and bring to a vigorous boil. Set timer for correct processing time. Refer to the tables below for processing time for your elevation and jar size.
  • Cover canner with lid and lower heat setting to maintain a gentle boil throughout processing time.
  • When processing time is up, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars.
  • Using jar lifter, remove jars and place them on a rack or dry towel.
  • Allow the jars to cool untouched, away from drafts, for 12 to 24 hours before testing lid seals.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal.
  • If any jars did not seal, treat as if 'fresh' and do any of the following:
    • Eat the food immediately.
    • Refrigerate food and use within a week.
    • Freeze.
    • Reprocess. If reprocessing, must repeat the entire canning process.

8. Store

  • Label jars with date and processing information.
  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Water Bath Processing Time- PINTS
0-1,000 ft 1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft 6,001-10,000 ft
20 minutes 25 minutes 30 minutes 35 minutes